The Internet of Things (IoT) provides significant opportunity for many industries, including that of pest management in food facilities. “We believe that the impact of digital transformation will be enormous because it is all around us already,” said Chris Pienaar, Bayer Environmental Science global lead for transformational innovation. “Beyond the technology of connected devices, what we see is these innovations in technology spark a transformation in business models.”

Thus, with an initial target toward sensitive, food-touching industries where rodent control is critical and there are significant audit and compliance pressures, Bayer began a strategic IoT collaboration with Microsoft to automate some of the common manual, time-consuming activities. Utilizing Microsoft’s predictive analytics capabilities and the secure management of its Azure Cloud Services, Bayer has introduced a new rodent monitoring system. “The USA is the pilot country for our new services platform, but our goal is a global offering wherever it makes sense; where rodent control and immediate notification of a capture and compliance is mission critical,” Pienaar said.

The system features 24/7 monitoring of rodent-capture devices with real-time alerts and rodent program verification, regular system status reports, automated trend lines, and a graphic floor plan. For pest management providers and their customers, Pienaar said, “it enables rapid response, faster root-cause analysis, labor efficiency opportunities, infestation avoidance, less business disruption, transparency across facilities, value-added services, and improved audit readiness.”

The sensors tell the operator if the trap is moved, and sends a daily “heartbeat message” to confirm that the system is functioning properly. “Plus, when you know real-time that there are no captures that has a value – as important as getting a capture message – because it offers proof the rodent control program the service provider has implemented is working. This is important to auditors and QA managers,” said Peter Jardine, Bayer Crop Science Business Development Lead, Transformational Innovation.

“Up-to-the-minute information is vital for many sensitive accounts because they can have zero tolerance for rodent issues,” Pienaar added. “Their threshold is 1 – if they have one mouse, they are out of compliance. Now they can have 24/7 status not one time or four times per month.”